In Charge of Fun

Words written in novel so far: 17,770

Games of Apples to Apples my dad won yesterday: 1 (he was very proud)

Days until Fathers’ Day: 1

When I was growing up, my dad was the Executive in Charge of Fun for our family.

During the work week, he got up early, spent ungodly amounts of time driving to work in downtown Atlanta, and came home hoping to disappear behind a newspaper. Many nights found him asleep on the recliner. Or asleep on the floor. (He insisted he was doing The Sponge as a yoga move.)

But recreation was Dad’s specialty. I mentioned the sailboat yesterday; that was an ongoing treat. But he also took me to the circus, to various and sundry museums and out to eat at restaurants with white tablecloths and shrimp creole.

When it was time to plan vacation, Dad talked to people and researched the heck out of it. And this was before the Internet, people.

We traveled all over the Southeast, touring historic homes, jumping in the ocean and obsessing over the Wright Brothers, his favorite. In the days before digital cameras, we visited Charleston and came home not with photos of The Battery or horse-drawn carriages, but a series of pelicans. Flying. And landing. And flying again.

By the time I was 14, I could correct the tour guide at any antebellum home about why the houses didn’t have closets.

There might have been a bad moment in the Florida Keys when we got out of the boat that took us snorkeling.

I was so excited. “Didn’t that coral feel so weird?”

My dad just looked at me. “You weren’t supposed to touch the coral.”

“Yes, we were. The guide said, ‘be sure to touch the coral.'”

“He said, ‘don’t touch the coral. People are destroying the coral reefs by touching and killing them.'”


Tomato, to-mah-to.

Anywhoooo, my dad was also the one who worried over guided my college and career choices. When I started getting apathetic in sixth grade math, he took the family on a tour of colleges and quoted SAT and grade point average numbers to me.

When I showed an interest in planning events, he took me out to lunch with an executive who was helping him orchestrate a conference.

When I applied to colleges and considered going to a secondary one because my friends were going there, he said, “Okay. But there is nowhere more beautiful than Chapel Hill in the fall.”

There is nowhere more beautiful than Chapel Hill in the fall. I was there.

And when I started writing in earnest, he was the one person who read every word. Every single word.

Thanks, Dad. Happy Fathers’ Day!

24 thoughts on “In Charge of Fun

  1. crubin says:

    How wonderful to have such a supportive father in your life. And I hope that coral is okay. 🙂

  2. David Gentry says:

    Anne, you are one of the most wonderful daughters in the whole world. (Your sister is the other.) This blog post makes me want to cry, and I am sure I will when I think of it when noone is looking.

  3. vanster101 says:

    That was a great post, mommy! I think you showed some great examples, and i really enjoyed it! And plus D, that picture is just like papa! 🙂

  4. babin101 says:

    That is such a good post! I woild feel so proud if I was your dad!

  5. jmmcdowell says:

    My father passed away, unfortunately, before I began writing my novels. But even if he wouldn’t normally read their genre, I know he would have enjoyed reading mine, because they were mine. Wishing you and your family a very happy Father’s Day. 🙂

  6. robincoyle says:

    Sweet tribute to you dear old dad.

  7. Melissa says:

    What a sweet tribute to your Dad! I hope he and Daryl have a great Farher’s Day!

  8. there’s a “Like” button but I want the “Love This” button.

  9. Daryl says:

    You go Papa. Anne and Holly are very lucky–and so am I 😉

  10. Carla Helms says:

    Your dad sounds like a wonderful man – reading about things he did with you gave me a few ideas for things we need to do with our kids!

  11. 4amWriter says:

    Touching post. He was obviously a huge positive influence in your life. Enjoy Dad’s day!

  12. Here’s to fathers everywhere. God bless them.

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